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Lucid Diagnostics, the majority-owned subsidiary of medical device company PAVmed, has signed a sponsored research agreement with University of Washington’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to evaluate Barrett’s Esophagus (BE) progression biomarkers.

Biomarkers will be evaluated in patients using Lucid’s EsoCheck Esophageal Cell Collection Device with Collect+Protect Technology.

This agreement includes research programme Biomarkers for the Detection of Cancer, led by principal investigator William M Grady.

Following the agreement, Fred Hutchinson has given Lucid Diagnostics the sole option to license its candidate BE progression biomarkers during the option period, which can extend twelve months past the completion of phase ll study.

The license will require Lucid to pay royalties to Fred Hutchinson on net sales of products incorporating the BE progression biomarkers at rates specified in the agreement.

The research programme will include human clinical studies to explore the candidate BE progression biomarkers on oesophagal samples collected using EsoCheck.

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The biomarkers have shown promise in differentiating nondysplastic BE from dysplastic BE and oesophagal adenocarcinoma (EAC).

PAVmed CEO and Lucid executive chairman Lishan Aklog said: “I am very pleased that Lucid has also secured the exclusive option to license these biomarkers for commercialisation. Several research centres and companies are also pursuing BE progression markers to enhance the surveillance of BE patients and prevent EAC.

“However, since EsoCheck is the only oesophagal cell collection device capable of performing targeted and protected sampling of these oesophagal cells, I believe that for any of these candidates BE progression markers to be clinically and commercially viable, they will have to be used on cells collected with EsoCheck.”